I guess it is finally time to tell my story after reading the boards for a year. Thank goodness for this forum or I absolutely would have gone crazy. There are days I wish this nightmare I have lived with my son would end but it has been going on since he was three years old and I don’t know if there is an end in sight. He is my Difficult child. When he was three he had mood problems and would say he wanted to die. Throughout the years he has been diagnosed with ADD, Bipolar, Asperger’s, Tourette’s, and learning disabilities. When he has fourteen he discovered marijuana and now that he is 19 he has discovered other drugs. He against all odds graduated from High School (mainly because he was in jail). I advocated for him at every turn of the hat because I was told by the “experts” that he needed that and I still advocate on his behalf to let the authorities who are now dealing with him know of his intellectual disabilities. His last two years have been spent in and out of jail for various drug charges, burglary of a habitation (his dad’s house), and is now in jail because he was in the car with three young adults who robbed a convenience store with a weapon. He hasn’t been formally charged but faces many years in prison if he is convicted. Frankly, I don’t know of a place in society for him other than prison that is safe. I offered to help him get in a halfway house after being in jail for seven months ago after the burglary of his dad’s house. He was at the Halfway House two weeks before coming straight back to the town we live and getting back with the drug dealers last July. Since that time, he has had a motion to revoke his probation for this charge but the court is not quick. He has been beat up several times and robbed by the thug drug dealers he associates with and then kidnapped one night by a group of people. It’s amazing he didn’t get killed that night. He has the processing speed of a severely MR – 56 – however his language IQ and other IQ’S are higher thus he appears normal. Even with advocating for him, there really are only two places in society where he might be safe – a state mental/MR institution or prison. At some point, though, he is nineteen and knows right between wrong, so I am of the opinion that it will be up to him to decide what his life will be about. It isn’t because he hasn’t been given every chance. I sent him to a Residential Treatment Center and ended up paying cash because insurance wouldn’t pay to the tune of almost $90,000. I’m not rich – I do believe in the power of treatment. He has a court appointed lawyer and that will be what he has to have. I maintain contact with him via the phone and am trying to make sure the attorney has his medical records, etc. I’m just at a point where no matter what Difficult Child says I don’t have an answer until he is willing to do the work – not me. I have a 23-year-old daughter who is a delight and has graduated from college. Being raised with him has left her with scars. When he was young she acted much like an older “protector” but since he has been taking on the life of glamorizing drugs and crime she has distanced. There are times during all of this he will ask me “Mom – what is wrong with me? I keep being given opportunities and just mess them up.” There is a side of him that struggles. This is the way I seemed to be sucked in again to “help” him. I attend Al-Anon and have since 1984. All the knowledge in the world didn’t help me change this child’s existence. The meetings help, but I have not found anyplace except this forum with people who understand what it is like to have a child like him. His dad and I are divorced. His dad loves him but doesn’t know what to do either. His dad has mental health issues himself and wasn’t really able to cope with this child as he exhibited every negative aspect that he himself has. How I deal with it today mostly is to pray and let it go as I’m not sure there is one more thing I can do other than to be there and let him know that I love him and when he is ready he has a family. There’s a part of me that worries he’s not capable of being different. I guess even he isn’t I need to come to the point of acceptance that my life can be good even if his isn’t.